Parking levy at beaches to start in May

Gullane Bents beach car park. Picture: Dan Phillips
Gullane Bents beach car park. Picture: Dan Phillips
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PARKING charges at East Lothian beaches could be introduced as early as May.

The controversial levy at coastal car parks will see motorists charged £2 to leave their cars at Gullane Bents, Yellowcraig, Whitesands and Barns Ness, as well as the three car parks at Longniddry Bents and the three at John Muir Country Park.

The charges were first proposed in 2007 and have been a hot topic of debate ever since.

But now £450,000 has been set aside in the council’s budget for their introduction and work to bring them in is said to be well advanced.

A council spokeswoman said the necessary traffic regulation orders had been approved and charging could begin as early as May.

The cost of introducing the charges is expected to be covered by £450,000 revenue brought in by the fees over the next year. And the parking charges are forecast to make a profit by 2016.

SNP group leader Stuart Currie opposes the charges. He said: “One in five jobs in East Lothian relies on tourism and anything that impacts on that should be rejected.”